We are of The Day!
What is is with children and condiments? Years ago, while working at a daycare, I was shocked at the amount of ketchup those kids could consume! We're talking an equal ratio of ketchup to whatever (crap) food product they were dipping into it. Truly impressive.
My daughter is also a lover of smears, but as my child has more refined tastes. Her spread of choice? Sun-dried tomato pesto. I kid you not! She will (and does!) eat the stuff by the bowlful!
In Mason City, where Erik's parents live, there's a delightful little restaurant that serves excellent dishes made with as many local foods as they can get their hands on. It's named "Ralph's" and we are well known there. On our last visit I found myself almost wishing the server seating us hadn't confirmed "Your family is grain-free, correct?" as she led us to our table so as to not blow the girls and I's cover with my husband and father-in-law. No way to pretend this trip was a special occasion at that point! Oh, well... at least, as their best customer, they shared the pesto recipe with me!
The recipe is perfect on its own, but I gave it some tweaks so as to be able to not make a special trip to the stores. I also made it two ways: one with standard dried and stored in a bag tomatoes, and once with dried and stored in olive oil tomatoes as the recipe hadn't specified which. I am quite sure they use the oil packed ones as the bright red color fades otherwise. Ralph's uses Parmesan as their cheese of choice. I used Asiago as I had it on hand and personally, I enjoy the bite. If you want a more subtle flavor, then by all means: use the Parm.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
1/2 cup packed basil
1 mounded cup sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil (save the oil from the jar)
1/4-1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (or Parmesan)
extra Olive Oil just in case
Here's how you do it: Throw the first two ingredients into your food processor and let the blade spin until everything is nicely chopped and blended. Now add the cheese and the oil from the jar and let the blade whirl some more. At this point you should be done. If you feel it is too crumbly or dry you can add more olive oil until you are happy with the consistency. This pesto is so delicious!
If you are going to make it using dried tomatoes from a bag, you will definitely need extra oil in the ballpark of 1/4-1/2 cups. The color will also be much darker. In the above picture, we are serving the tomato pesto on top of stew. The darker colored layer on the bottom is the recipe made with bagged tomatoes while the redder pesto on top is the same recipe made from tomatoes bought in oil. We prefer the recipe made with the oil soaked dried tomatoes.
Which way do you prefer it?